Friday 30 December 2011

Cake made of cheese (not cheesecake)

You may think, knowing me, I would have to have real cake for my wedding cake. Well, I'm not sure. I decorated this cake made of 3 wheels of cheese for a wedding recently and thought it was really pretty. Who doesn't love cheese?

Monday 26 December 2011

Filo wrapped Brie with apricot and rosemary chutney

It's cheese stuffed with chutney, wrapped in pastry and baked until its hot and gooey, spread on to steamy toasted french baguette, what's not to like? Made it for friends the other night and it was gobbled up pretty quick.. making it again tomorrow for family.
My friend sent me the recipe, just make the chutney and let it cool, halve the brie sideways and spread it in, sandwich and wrap in filo pastry sheets, brushed with melted butter. You can make a rose on the top, brush with butter and chill for an hour or so. Then pop in hot oven until the pastry is all golden and crisp, about 25 mins (if the pastry is browning too quickly, pop foil over the top). Take out the oven and leave for 30-40 mins before serving.
12 ounces dried apricots, chopped
1 large red onion, chopped
1 cup water
2/3 cup cider vinegar
2/3 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
3 ounces dried tart cherries (3/4 cup)
1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
3 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 cup blanched slivered almonds, toasted

Saturday 17 December 2011

Carrot cake

My brother always has a go at me when I make carrot cake as a loaf and not a layered cake as he thinks the ratio of icing to cake isn't big enough. So I tend to make a lot and really slather it on the top. My new addition is to sprinkle the icing with lime zest, nuts and seeds. This cake was for a yoga tea, you can tell yourself it's good for you if it's made with carrot and topped with seeds ;)

Monday 12 December 2011

Thursday 8 December 2011

This month I am...a canapé making machine

I am also making myself a promise that on Sunday I will sit down and tell you all about my foodie trip to Paris.

Tuesday 6 December 2011

Foodie Illustration

I have such super talented friends. This is Nell's illustration for a competition that is running for the cover of the new Zizzi Menu. Best of luck, it's the most beautiful painting and for someone who loves cooking and sewing as much as I do, its definitely one of my favourites.

Sunday 4 December 2011

Antique book cake

Rich chocolate cake and chocolate ganache books. My favourite kind. This cake was fun to play with, I called the hardware shop to see if they had a wood grain rocker because I thought that would be fun to make the board look like a desk but for 11 quid I don't know when I will next need to make something that isn't wood, look like wood!

Saturday 3 December 2011

Butternut, goats cheese and chorizo empanadas

Quick post as got to be meeting friends for brunch in 20 mins and still in my PJs! Best thing about empanadas is that you can use all those leftovers in the fridge, all the above were. Sauteed onion, garlic, squash, chorizo, chicken, thyme, rosemary and crumbled goats cheese. I folded some over and make some into discs, for when you can't manage another whole one!

Tuesday 29 November 2011

Churros and my main man at our local

This very day last week,  my friend Lesa and I were ordering churros- far too much churros, nah I think it all went. I have a video of this too, will upload it when I find it! There is serious skill being displayed here, it all happens in about 45 seconds.
 And a mug of hot chocolate on the side mmmmmm...

Saturday 26 November 2011

Heart Frittata

That's quite hard to say out loud "heart frittata"
I have been working non stop for days so this is a mini post before I hit bed. Mum came to see me for a day yesterday as she flew home from Sydney (via London) before going back to Spain. I felt awful that I had to work all day but turns out she was pretty whacked with the jetlag and after a few discussions on dinner plans she slept through it anyway! 
I was making mini smoked salmon and quiches and so made her a couple of hearts with the leftover mix, you can do soppy things like this when it's for your mum.

Saturday 19 November 2011

Castañas asadas/roasted chestnuts

Got my design hat on this week and helping my Dad design a new house in Spain, well we've been doing that for the last couple of years and now we're building, it's time to choose the staircase/the doors/the windows... it's the exciting bit! Last time I was out here I baked lemon drizzle loaves for our slightly unhappy neighbours, when you're knocking down a town house in a narrow street it's not going to be without disruption, cake goes a bit of a way to make it better, they seemed happier at least. 
So, got off the plane and went straight to the beach for seafood and some toe dipping in the sea.
Work shoes ;)
Then a trip to choose some railings and a balcony for the house. 
Where to start?!... this place gave me eye ache but we stayed for hours, I loved it.
Yes, that is me, shoved in the back of the van on the journey home. Cam and I fell in love with a table with little stalls that slot in on runners under the table top, we went halves.
I'm not sure what this was but it kind of looked like an oven, especially the dial but it can't be, it's tiny. Or could it? Then off to a venta for a quick lunch. So, you know Gazpacho, this is Porra, typical cold soup in Southern Spain, it's thicker and milder made with blitzed bread and topped with Serrano ham, tuna and grated boiled egg. It is heaven. Oh, not as heavenly as Paella.
So, this time of year in Spain you get roasted chestnuts, which are roasted on open fires on street corners or on these sort of makeshift chimneys. They are ridiculously delicious and warming, kept warm under a blanket, scooped into a paper cone and just the anticipation whilst you peel off the hot, blackened, smokey skin is so exciting. The locals go mad for these and start queuing before they're even ready. These boys were pretty chuffed I took photos so put my brother on a crate to hold the chestnut pan and proudly stood around him, eat your heart out Rick Stein, I can do the line up photos too!